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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 9 (January 1, 1930)

The Story of the Rocks

The Story of the Rocks.

Train-travellers who make a motor-car jaunt from Matamata or other convenient stations to the wonderful hydro-electric works at Arapuni, would have a run of particular scenic interest if they returned by way of the Hinuera Valley. One comes through it on the main road between Cambridge and Matamata, and the Arapuni road links up with it. It is a most fascinating place, this Hinuera (Hinu-wera—“Hot Oil”—it originally was). Anciently the Waikato River flowed through this level-floored valley into the Upper Thames basin and the Hauraki. Most likely, indeed the “Firth” of Thames, as we know it on the map, did not exist; the sea probably flowed inland as far as where Morrinsville now stands. The terraces along the Waikato bank speak eloquently of the time when the great river flowed at a higher level than it does to day.

The valley is walled on each side by dark vertical bluffs of columnar rocks, of volcanic origin, page 46 cave-riddled, weathered into all sorts of bold forms. It is a splendid class-room of Nature's making for the student of geology and physiography. Those columns and bluffs of vitreous rock tell a story that no observant traveller can miss—at any rate it is only a very dull wayfarer, or one only concerned with speeding-up for his meals, that could fail to give a thought to their making.